Writer: Gordon Rennie
Artist: PJ Holden
Colours: Steven Denton
Letterer: Jim Campbell
Release: 16 October 2013
Welcome to the Department Of Monsterology otherwise known as Dunsany College’s Department Of Cryptozoology, Mythological Studies, Parapsychology and Fortean Phenomena. In this first issue we are introduced to two of the department’s teams: Team Challenger, who whilst exploring wreckage in the South Pacific, encounter some sea monsters of the fast, nasty and hungry variety; while the second half of the comic belongs to Team Carnacki, who are attempting to trace some missing Chinese artefacts when they are attacked by two “Jiang Shi” or Chinese vampires.
I suppose if I was going to liken this story to anything then the Hellboy spin-off B.P.R.D would spring to mind, though I think that’s probably a lazy comparison, as is mentioning Tomb Raider or Indiana Jones or the stories of Lovecraft. But those scomparisons will give you a flavour of what’s on offer here.
The other thing on offer is absolutely scrumptious artwork by another 2000AD creator PJ Holden. I find Holden’s artwork quite, quite beautiful, especially in the grotesque. He really gets to show his range here with everything from underwater ruins and deep sea monsters, to the Chinese vampires and the level of detail onboard the “Derleth”, the boat that is the base for Team Challenger in this instalment. There are a number of amazing splash pages to pore over and try and catch all those tiny details. There is a lovely European feel to the look of this book which evokes a wonderful atmosphere of adventure – and that is the key word here, this at heart is a rollicking adventure story and I absolutely loved every moment of it.
The comic has a Facebook page that is worth looking at while you are waiting for the release; as well as info on pre-ordering the title, it has sneaky peaks at forthcoming issues, character designs and my favourite – a picture of one of the pages halfway through the inking process – absolutely stunning!